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Tobacco Smoke: A Vicious Oxygen Robber

Majid Ali, M.D.

Tobacco smoke steals oxygen and injures tissues on a larger scale than any other environmental hazard. Yes, it causes cancer but in robbing oxygen it injures all cell populations in many ways.

Tobacco smoking is not new. It was burned and vapors inhaled or chewed as early as 5000–3000 BC. The origin of such use is likely to be rooted in the practice of burning it for incense during religious rituals. It was introduced to Europe and Asia in the late 16th century.

German scientists recognized the tobacco-cancer link in the late 1920s. It resulted in the first anti-smoking campaign in recent times. I look at this health hazard through the prism of oxygen homeostasis which, in my view, provides a far deeper look at the health issues related to it.

In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asserted that the cost of each pack of cigarettes sold in the United States was more than $7 in medical care and lost productivity. A different study put it as high as $41 per pack. How much does it cost with hazards of passive (secondary) exposure remains unknown.

Cancer Risk

The risk of all types of cancer is increased by tobacco since it robs oxygen and the primary cause of cancer is lack of oxygen (see Oxygen Model of cancer for full description). As for lungs and the mouth, there is an estimated 30 % or greater risk.

How the Body Protests Tobacco

* The mouth burns.

* The lungs choke, sear and cancerizes.

* The esophagus inflames.

* The stomach ulcerates .

* The blood poisons.

* The arteries tighten and then clog.

* The heart races and tires.

* The platelet become sticky.

* The fats trans.

* The brain suffocates.

* The body ages prematurely.

Lifestyle of smokers often keeps them dehydrated. Smoking and dehydration fan each other’s oxidative stress and acidity. So here is a suggestion: Drink at least one glass of fluid for every cigarette smoked, more if you also grink coffee when you smoke.

Half-life of nicotine is two hours. It means 50 % of nicotine is still present in the smoker's body two hours after he stops smoking, and 25 % of the original amount is present in the body four hours after he stops smoking. Just something for smokers to remember. 


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